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Celebrating 90 Years of Automotive Engineering Excellence: IAEA Milestone Anniversary

The Institute of Automotive Engineer Assessors (IAEA) recently celebrated its 90th anniversary, on Saturday, 20th May. 


Celebrating 90 Years of Automotive Engineering Excellence: IAEA Milestone Anniversary main

To begin, guests were treated to a lavish lunch, and then IAEA president, Darren Power, welcomed delegates to the event and introduced Andrew Marsh Hon FIAEA, FIMI, as the afternoon’s host and moderator. Marsh commenced with a captivating address that transported the audience back to 1932, the institute’s founding year. He emphasised how the vehicles of that era, although sharing fundamental features like “four wheels, somewhere to sit, and a steering wheel,” bear little resemblance to today’s modern vehicles.

Marsh highlighted the IAEA’s commitment to staying up-to-date and remaining relevant amidst the ever-advancing technology in the automotive industry. He concluded by posing a question to the attendees – ‘what did they want for the future of the IAEA to meet this technology challenge?’

With Andrew Marsh bringing the audience up to present times, he handed the floor to Dr James Carton, Assistant Professor in sustainable energy at Dublin City University, who focused on the future of vehicles, notably the transition from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to new technologies. He discussed how popular SUVs are gradually being replaced by more mid-sized vehicles and emphasised the crucial role of urban planning in shaping the cars of the future.

He then provided information on how Hydrogen as a fuel could power future vehicles, the engineering involved, the advantages that such vehicles could offer and the challenges they may face. This included a comparison of the advantages of pure electric and hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) systems – pointing out that both systems use a Li-ion battery, although the FCEV battery is typically smaller.

Continuing with the theme of Hydrogen and with a Toyota Mirai FCEV having been driven expertly into the conference room, Phil Briggs from Toyota GB showed via images of the hydrogen tank, fuel cell and Li-ion battery locations, providing an insight into the complexity lurking beneath the skin. Andrew Marsh made the point this low-production volume vehicle has been through a full set of Euro NCAP tests to gain five stars – a properly engineered vehicle.

Chris Weeks, executive director of the NBRA, provided an animated explanation of the role that the NBRA plays and sought the audience’s viewpoints on various topics, including their perceptions towards insurance companies and those that run body shops. Chris sought a way forward where there would be less friction between insurers and collision repairers, which of course, also applies to ATFs too. A suggested way forward could be to create a bridge between estimators and vehicle damage assessors. 

Celebrating 90 Years of Automotive Engineering Excellence: IAEA Milestone Anniversary Pan
L-R Andrew Marsh, Chris Weeks, Dr James Carton, Jeff Mack, Kirsty McKno and David Punter

Following a short break, the panel discussion commenced, with Chris Weeks joined by Kirst McKnow (Cogent Hire), Jeff Mack (Nationwide Vehicle Assistance), David Punter (president-elect of the IAEA), and Dr James Carton. Guided by Andrew Marsh, they shared their perspectives on interacting with electric vehicles (EVs) within their organisations.

Andrew Marsh steered them through the discussion, asking for their viewpoints when coming into contact with EVs within their organisations. Jeff Mack highlighted the need for improved education regarding the recovery of EVs from the roadside, while Kirsty commented on the readiness of the supply chain for EVs in the country. Chris Weeks emphasised the importance of collective action to address the challenges presented by EVs, and David Punter raised concerns about Salvage Agents’ reluctance to handle electric vehicles due to associated risks.

As the conversation unfolded, Kirsty raised the issue of diminution value as a result of vehicle values falling after the recent boom, as well as the effect of technology change in the near future on existing vehicles. Jeff called for cooperation, especially among manufacturers and insurers, to share critical safety information on electrified vehicles, while David and Chris emphasised the need for cooperation, especially regarding the difficulties of approaching government departments and the potential EV ‘bomb’ in the various connotations it faced. Overall, whilst there are many sources of training and information, the whole sector is not ‘up to speed’ yet. 

To celebrate the IAEA’s milestone of reaching its 90th year, it was rightly honoured with a gala dinner, where awards were announced not only for this year but also for previous years back to 2019 when the annual event could not be held due to Covid-19 as well as the death of EIIR

With the formalities concluded, the attendees joyfully danced the night away to the tunes of The Recollections, blending modern classics with music from the past.

The IAEA‘s ability to remain an important and relevant organisation for 90 years, continuously adapting to the challenges posed by advancing motor vehicles, suggests that reaching its centenary is well within its reach.

All images courtesy of the IAEA

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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